Some African Americans in the Mid-South are afraid to go to the hospital because of COVID-19

Updated: Aug. 21, 2020 at 3:46 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mid-South hospitals have seen a drop in 911 calls and hospital visits for heart attacks and strokes.

“Across the country, people are afraid of catching the virus at the hospital,” Methodist cardiologist Dr. Lisa Young said.

Not calling 911 or going to the hospital can be life-altering, which was the case for a patient Young said refused to go a few weeks ago.

“They were afraid and did not go to the hospital,” she said. “They had a very large stroke with a residual disability which will be significant, which we could have stopped.”

A recent Harris Poll shows nearly half of Black Americans who are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke say they’re scared to seek care at a hospital.

Young said hospitals have changed how they manage emergency rooms. Everyone that comes in gets tested and wears masks, and COVID-19 patients are isolated in a different ward and different ICU from other patients.

“The likelihood of a patient getting COVID at the hospital is actually very low,” Young said.

Mid-South hospital systems have teamed up with the American Heart Association for a campaign called “Don’t Die of Doubt.”

The AHA has information on their site about the symptoms of a stroke and heart attack.

They are urging people not to be afraid to seek help if they are experiencing a medical emergency.

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